PBA (PseudoBulbar Affect) causes sudden, frequent, uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing that are exaggerated and/or don’t match how you feel. PBA is a separate neurologic condition that can happen as a result of certain neurologic conditions or brain injury.
Because PBA episodes are unpredictable and can happen at inappropriate times, they can leave you feeling misunderstood and frustrated. But PBA is treatable.
First and only treatment approved
by the FDA to treat PBA
NUEDEXTA is proven
to reduce PBA episodes
After the first week of a 12-week clinical trial, patients taking NUEDEXTA experienced an average of 44% fewer PBA episodes.*
Average reduction after 12 weeks:
Last 2 weeks
Compared to baseline, patients taking placebo experienced 19% fewer PBA episodes at Week 1 and 45% fewer episodes at Week 12, and 29% were completely free of PBA episodes in the final 2 weeks of the 12-week study.*
*Pioro EP, Brooks BR, Cummings J, et al. Dextromethorphan plus ultra low-dose quinidine reduces pseudobulbar affect. Ann Neurol. 2010;68:693-702.
PBA affects almost
people in the US who have certain neurologic conditions including Stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).†‡
†Work SS, Colamonico JA, Bradley WG, Kaye RE. Pseudobulbar affect: an under-recognized and under-treated neurological disorder. Adv Ther. 2011;28:586–601.
‡This is not a complete list. Other neurologic conditions have also been associated with PBA.
Steps Toward Discussing PBA and Treatment
You can help the person you care for by explaining their episodes to their doctor. Describing what you see first-hand can increase their chances of being diagnosed and treated, especially if they have difficulty explaining their symptoms themselves.
Advocating for diagnosis and treatment is one of the most important things that you can do for your loved one—and for yourself. Follow these steps to prepare yourself and the person you care for to talk about PBA and treatment.
Take the PBA Quiz with them
Answer seven questions with the person you care for and you’ll receive a score that will help their doctor understand their crying and/or laughing episodes.
When you take the PBA Quiz you can download, text, or email the results along with all the information in these steps.
Learn how to describe their crying and/or laughing symptoms
If the person you care for has a neurologic condition or brain injury and you think they might have PBA, it’s helpful to describe their symptoms the way doctors understand. Choose descriptions that match what you see.
Crying and/or laughing – They might experience either or both
Uncontrollable – They can’t stop crying and/or laughing, even if they try
Episodic – Their symptoms aren’t continuous
Sudden – Symptoms start quickly with little or no warning
Exaggerated – Crying and/or laughing is too intense for the situation or lasts longer than expected
Mismatched/Don’t match how they feel – Crying when they’re not sad or laughing when nothing’s funny
If they have crying episodes, the descriptions above will help their doctor determine if their episodes are different from depression.
Understand their burden, and yours
Ask the person you care for how the crying and/or laughing symptoms are bothering them. Write down the answers.
- How do these episodes affect you emotionally? Physically?
- How have these episodes caused you to change your daily activities?
- What activities do you avoid because you’re worried about having an episode?
Now ask yourself how their symptoms impact you and others.
Start the conversation with their doctor
You may feel uncomfortable speaking up, but doctors really do want to hear from you so they can help the person you care for. Take what you’ve learned in steps 1, 2, and 3 to their next appointment.
Ask their doctor these two questions:
1 Could the person I care for have PBA?
- Share their PBA Quiz results
- Explain how their unpredictable crying and/or laughing episodes are bothering them
- Explain how their episodes are impacting you and others
- Let their doctor know you understand PBA is a separate condition that can be treated
2 Could NUEDEXTA be the right treatment for them?
- Explain the ways reducing these episodes would help them and you
- Ask about possible side effects of NUEDEXTA
The Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS) was developed by healthcare professionals to identify and measure symptoms suggestive of PBA. It does not diagnose PBA and is not intended to substitute for professional medical assessment and/or advice. Please consult with your doctor.
Ask your doctor these two questions:
- Could I have PBA?
- Share your PBA Quiz results
- Explain how your unpredictable crying and/or laughing episodes are bothering you and the people around you
- Let your doctor know you understand PBA is a separate condition that can be treated
- Could NUEDEXTA be the right treatment for me?
- Explain the ways reducing these episodes would help you
- Ask about possible side effects of NUEDEXTA
Remember, you are your best advocate. When you talk about your embarrassing episodes, be specific and don’t hold back—the more details you can provide, the easier it will be for your doctor to understand how PBA is affecting you.
After a couple of weeks, I realized—whoa, wait a minute, this is helping.
MS patient living with PBA, taking NUEDEXTA
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